Health

Published on October 1st, 2013

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Beware of Obamacare Health Insurance Scams

Confused about open enrollment for the new health care marketplaces introduced under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that go live Tuesday? Be careful. Scam artists are hoping your confusion will lead to their profits.

Consumer advocates are warning that several fraudulent health insurance schemes are making the rounds. The scams range from fake websites claiming to sell Obamacare health insurance policies for under $30 a month to scam artists trying to get consumers to reveal personal information.

Fraud.org said in one common fraudulent scheme, a scammer who claims to be from the federal government contacts consumers and tells them that by law they must purchase insurance cards in order to be eligible for coverage under the ACA. They then ask consumers for their bank account routing numbers.

The fraudsters are contacting consumers by phone, text, e-mail and fax, according to consumer advocates. Some threaten that a consumer could go to jail if they don’t comply with purchasing an insurance card or giving out personal information. Others push consumers into signing up for fraudulent insurance programs by saying they have only a few spots left. Some of the fraudsters are claiming to be state and federally trained “navigators’ who help consumers apply for the insurance programs offered under the new exchanges. And still others are targeting seniors by pretending to be from Medicare.

If you don’t have health care already and have questions about the how to sign up for health insurance under the ACA, go to HealthCare.gov.

And remember, the federal government doesn’t:

  • Call, text or e-mail people and ask them for their bank account numbers or to wire money.
  • Call, text or e-mail people and ask them to give out their personal information such as their Social Security number or Medicare ID number to update their accounts.
  • Limit the amount of people who can apply for health insurance coverage in the new health care marketplace.

If you have a question about whether a health insurance policy is legitimate, contact local officials. If you feel you have been defrauded, file a complaint with TINA.org or the FTC.

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